The Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) is a global hierarchy of the managers responsible for the projects in your enterprise. The OBS reflects the management structure of your organization, from top-level personnel down through the various levels constituting your business. These responsible managers are associated with specific nodes and projects within the enterprise project structures hierarchy.

When creating EPS levels, WBS levels, Thresholds, and Issues, you’ll be prompted to choose a Responsible Manager to grant access privileges – the Responsible Manager options are created and modified within the OBS. With a responsible manager assigned to an EPS node, any projects you add to that branch of the EPS are assigned that manager element by default.

While setting up project permissions for new users, you will be prompted to select a Responsible Manager to assign them project access. These Responsible Managers are created in the OBS and basically are used to grant those users specific access privileges to projects which the selected manager is assigned to.

The OBS hierarchy is used primarily to grant users specific access privileges to projects and to the WBS levels within projects. To access a project, a user must have access permissions for an OBS element within the project. This provides user access to WBS information for which the specified OBS element is responsible for. The OBS is maintained as a separate, global hierarchy which gives you flexibility in making your OBS assignments as responsibilities change throughout a project life cycle.

Viewing the OBS

To view, add, or modify the OBS structure, select Enterprise > OBS

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This will open the OBS dialog box, which can be used to create, view, and edit the structure. The top box will display all of the Responsible Managers currently within the OBS. The bottom section allows you to adjust the details for each Responsible Manage. The toolbar on the right allows you to add, delete, copy, paste, and move around OBS elements within the hierarchy.

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Using Chart View

The OBS layers can also be viewed graphically using Chart View. To access this view, select Display Options > Chart View.

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The OBS Chart View will display the OBS layer organization as connected boxes, displaying the hierarchy graphically. Depending on how many OBS layers you have in your database, it may be a good idea to expand the OBS dialogue box and zoom in by selecting Display Options > Zoom > Zoom In.

Preloaded tool sets in the tool chest panel in Bluebeam Revu 2019
Preloaded tool sets in the tool chest panel in Bluebeam Revu 2019

Adding Responsible Managers to the OBS

To add a new OBS element, select Add

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In the General tab, give your new layer a name. I’ll name this layer Admin. If desired, you can add a description to the OBS element by selecting Modify.

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In the editor window, you can enter and format text, insert pictures and tables, copy and paste information from other document files and add hyperlinks as needed. I’ll type in Administration for Taradigm.

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In the Users tab, you can view the users and corresponding security profiles associated with the OBS element.

If you have the appropriate access rights, you can also assign users from this tab using the Assign button, or remove them by selecting Remove.

You can also assign Responsible Managers to Users during User creation.

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In the Responsibility tab, you can see where the OBS elements are assigned across the enterprise, including EPS layers, WBS layers, and specific Projects. With the OBS element created, it can now be assigned to EPS layers, WBS layers, Projects, Issues, and Thresholds as the Responsible Manager during creation.

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With the OBS element created, it can also be moved around the hierarchy using the arrows on the right side of the window. I’ll use these arrows to move my Admin layer as a child layer directly under the Enterprise layer.

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Assigning OBS Elements

With the OBS set up, these responsible managers  can be assigned to assume responsibility over EPS levels, WBS levels, Issues, and Thresholds. When a responsible manager is assigned to an EPS node, they will automatically be assigned in P6 by default to any projects added to that branch of the EPS.

The process of assigning Responsible Managers to these elements will be the same throughout the program, so I will demonstrate by assigning my Responsible Manager to an Enterprise Project Structure layer.

To do this, I’ll select Enterprise > EPS to open the Enterprise Project Structure. Select the desired layer and use the Responsible Manager section to select a new Responsible Manager.

Profiles change the tool sets in the Tool Chest in Bluebeam Revu 2019
Profiles change the tool sets in the Tool Chest in Bluebeam Revu 2019

In the same way, OBS Responsible Managers can be assigned to WBS elements, Issues, and Thresholds within each of their respective screens.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please use the comment section on the bottom of this page, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more Primavera P6 tips & tricks directly in your inbox!

Lauren Hecker is a Primavera P6 Professional Instructor and teaches onsite and virtual Primavera P6 Fundamentals courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!


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